Scientists elected to Congress

(Christy Hemphill) #1

So this might be good. Maybe they’ll put some of them on the relevant committees instead of YEC less scientifically informed folks. We can hope. :crossed_fingers:t2:

(Mark D.) #2

Yeah, such a shame that anyone angling for the Christian vote feels they must sign off on some form of YEC or at least question evolution. As a thinking Christian I would totally feel patronized.

(Christy Hemphill) #3

I don’t think anti-evolution is usually part of anyone’s platform, more just par for the course in certain parts of the country because that is what the majority of the population thinks. You could probably find videos to prove me wrong. Maybe denying human caused climate change is a platform. But that is not a specifically “Christian” issue, it just seems like some Christians have developed some interesting theology to bolster their politics.

(Mark D.) #4

Well there is a video of three candidates for the republican presidential nomination during a televised debate raising their hand to indicate they did not believe in evolution in 2007. Frankly I think most candidates in both parties craft their answers to any question regarding their religious beliefs to appeal to the base so not so different on one level; no candidates in either party speak extemporaneously on divisive questions like that. But YEC does operate pretty forcefully in the manner a political action committee would, for candidates in just one party.


VP Mike Pence discusses evolution

(Christy Hemphill) #6

Lamar Smith is out as the committee chair for Science Space and Technology. Looks like Eddie Bernice Johnson will get the job. She was a psychiatric nurse.

(Phil) #7

Not sure that a lot of the folks elected are practicing scientists as such (lets face it, it is a stretch to include nurses and doctors, and even a lot of engineers as scientists (As Sheldon would tell Howard…), but it is still a good thing to see more science-y people elected.

(Randy) #8

I was just going to say the same thing :slight_smile: As a physician, I’m really humbled by how little I know from real biology and testing/scientific method. I feel more like an engineer… But it makes sense that with a field as complicated as science, medicine is a parallel. We as physicians aren’t taught any more in med school about cell and molecular biology than our grandmothers–it’s more applied. It’s sort of like asking an ortho physician or myself as a family doc to man an ICU and decide if someone’s vent should be on SIMV or other settings. I even know English majors who were accepted into med school, with minimum biology background. You’d get people dying (or at least, vaccination and research programs dying) if you put us on a biology committee.
The members of the 115th Congress include one physicist, one microbiologist, and one chemist, as well as eight engineers and one mathematician. The medical professions are slightly better represented, with three nurses and 15 doctors. "

But I agree that having more training may help with climate change and other perspectives, though they don’t necessarily have to be YEC or EC specifically. I like Pence’s morality, even if I don’t agree with him on origins. :slight_smile: Arguing on both sides–50/50. (I voted for a 3rd party in the last Presidential election)

(Matthew Pevarnik) #9

Nice the ‘just a theory’ and ‘show me the fossils’ rebuttals. And the ‘gotta rewrite the textbooks with more evidence’ argument. This is guy is something else! And then he pulls in the founding fathers as an authority of sorts on ‘theories’ of origins. Gotta end with the ‘someday you scientists will see I’m right’ statement. The clip is almost impressive in that nearly everything that he said was wrong or extremely flawed in some kind of way, yet a good portion of America would probably agree with him. Can Christians try to bring correction to him? It seems as if trying to do so would potentially backfire for such a person. I’m not sure if any have or if Pence has publicly admitted he was wrong on everything he said in 2002 but it doesn’t seem so. I did come across this video though in response to Pence:

(Mark D.) #10

His complaint regarding evolution being taught as fact is pretty much what is wrong with fundamentalism. Anywhere that evolution is taught as fact, it just isn’t being taught well. Science shouldn’t be about accepting what the facts are based on the authority of a book or teacher. Rote learning is poor education and distorts the nature of science.

The same could be said about propounding fundamentalism, that it is a poor way to teach theology and distorts the nature of faith.


It’s more than this. In science, a theory isn’t just a hypothesis or a hunch. It’s an extensively tested framework of knowledge. Theories in science explain facts, are testable, and allow scientists to make preditions.

Scientific theories explained

(Mark D.) #12

Oh I agree with you. That’s why I think it would be poor pedagogy to teach science as a collection of facts. What you just said elaborates why that misses the mark.

(Bill Wald) #13

It is a very, very, inclusive application of the word, “Science.” All technicians are not scientists.

(Andrew M. Wolfe) #14

I can’t believe I actually made it through watching that from start to finish.

Oddly, the thing that bothered me the most was his mispronunciation of the name of the fossil discovered in 2001. It’s not “TOR-may” but Toumaï, pronounced TOO-mye, and its discovery has so marked the country in which it was found – Chad – that many Chadians refer to their country as le pays de Toumaï, or Toumaï Country.

I know this bit is something that bothers me more than most, but it’s just sort of indicative of Pence’s general disregard for the actual data of the matter…

(Christy Hemphill) #15

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